Review by raymath

"No, it's not a good game at all"

Ah. The Bleach game for the GameCube. Bleach GC: Tasogare Ni Mamieru Shinigami was a hotly anticipated title,especially among fans of the anime and manga series. However, there was plenty of reason to fear that this fighting game wasn't going to turn out quite as well as people wanted it to be. Mainly, this was a game with the anime license slapped on it, so it was very likely going to turn out to be absolute garbage. But wait! Tomy had put out an excellent series of Naruto games. And this is SEGA we're talking about. Sega. They have to be better, right?

Well, not really. Bleach GC is a sub-par fighting game, one so bad that it might not even be enjoyed by fans of the series. Many things stand out clearly in the game, like the excellent graphics, but they are all bogged down by the main focus of the game, the actual fighting.

The first thing one might notice when trying out the game is that it handles very stiffly. All the characters don't quite move in the way you feel they should, in varying degrees. The small, quick characters are somewhat easier to control, but this doesn't excuse the jerky way most characters move. Judging from the game's controls, it seems the developers were trying to make a fighter along the lines of Soul Calibur with a little Tekken mixed in. In actuality, it's more like people slashing at each other with a few frames of animation, hitting each other with absurdly powerful super moves, or slowing down time and totally crushing the opposition, giving no sense of a challenge whatsoever.

The sloppiest part of the game would be the AI. At the normal level, it provides a decent challenge, yet you can still abuse it as if you were fighting it set at easy. And setting it hard will just annoy you more than the sloppy controls, because the computer is very very cheap. As an example of how bad it is, at Normal difficulty, the computer takes way too long to stand after a knockdown, making what would be exciting fights quite dull. And timed correctly, you can just do your character's knockdown move, charge up your power meter, and launch your super the moment they stand up.
Read: You wouldn't be able to do this in an actual fighting game, with real programmers.

However, the game does provide fan service, and plenty of it. The graphics are all great, with some exceptions. There is little to no animation in all of the character's super moves, which is a strikingly careless ommission by the programmers considering how well presented the rest of the game is. The fighter models do not move their mouths when they speak, and the static backgrounds are very bland, nothing at all going on.
The main menus change every time you enter, and there are plenty of voice clips from the actual voice actors from the anime. Many many characters from the anime are included which definitely satisfied most fans. There are plenty of unlockables in the game, and it even uses passwords from the DS title to be released also. There's also the jpop music themes for the opening and the ending, sung by Younha. So if there is one thing the game does not skimp on, it's presentation.

And in the end that's really all the game has going for it. Points for the good graphics, art and music, and a ton of usable characters from the series. But, it's a very bad fighting game. Not a good game at all. Fans of the series might have fun with this. Your call.

(The reviewer was a fan of Bleach before playing the game. This atrocity has since killed his desire for any future game bearing the Bleach license)

Reviewer's Rating:   1.5 - Bad

Originally Posted: 01/27/06

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